9 AUGUST 1980

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A frivolous document

The Spectator

A frivolous document I brArI - i,. I 1. I.- I I I 1. -. Earlier this week, the mandarins of the Trades Union Congress and the Confederation of British Industry received a...

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Hard and soft centres

The Spectator

Political commentary Hard and soft centres Ferdinand Mount It may be appropriate to confess here that I have been Much Troubled by second thoughts about the Centre Party...

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The Spectator

Notebook Now that Kenneth Tynan is dead, I have the Invidious distinction of being the only perSon Still alive who has used that four letter Word on television (barring actors...

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They're just wild about Billy

The Spectator

They're just wild about Billy Nicholas von Hoffman Washington If you want to understand the furor over Billygoat and the Libyans, you must appreciate the extent of the...

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That old black magic

The Spectator

That old black magic Nchard West Port-au- Prince 1ie masthead of Le Nouveau Monde, Haiti's newspaper, calls this 'Year XXIII of the Duvalierian era', a tribute to the...

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The children and the tortoise

The Spectator

The children and the tortoise Rosemary Ridd In July the three-month boycott of classes by schoolchildren, who by South African law are classified 'coloured', was suspended. It...

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The legacy of Roman Spain

The Spectator

The legacy of Roman Spain Simon Courtauld Merida, Estremadura Before I came to this part of Spain I thought that it was called Estremadura because so much of the country is...

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Spies in the sky

The Spectator

Spies in the sky Edward Marston Berlin Marx and Engels are not the sort of people YoU would naturally expect to contribute to the Spectator Yet the issue of 15 June 185()...

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Bridge between two worlds

The Spectator

Bridge between two worlds Giles Gordon Nepal Friendship Bridge it's called. unofficially and officially. At one end of it. furthest aAav from where I stand and look. flutters...

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Whose interest should prevail?

The Spectator

Whose interest should prevail? Anthony Blair the House of Lords has ordered Granada Television to disclose the name of the British Steel Corporation informant in the Steel...

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Two cities of Belfast

The Spectator

Two cities of Belfast Charles Clover Belfast Apocalvpse Now has been enjoying an extended run at a rebuilt cinema near the Europa Hotel, part of a regeneration of the city's...

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Neither golden nor delicious

The Spectator

Neither golden nor delicious I .. .~~~~~~~ Michael Wigan Statistics about fruit are fascinating. For example Britain eats less fresh fruit per head than any European country...

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A Cleese fan

The Spectator

A Cleese fan Sir: I implore you not to succumb to any of the appeals to dismiss Richard Ingrams from your employ. Bernard Levin and Ronald Harwood are quite able to look after...

[Sir: Was it really necessary, in my review...]

The Spectator

Sir: Was it really necessary, in my review which you published last week, for your evidently only part-time proofreaders to insist on altering Shakespeare's words bY changing...

Act of Settlement

The Spectator

Letters l - Act of Settlement Sir: I do not read history in the way your leading article 'Don't unsettle the Settlement' (2 August) does. If parliamentary sovereignty, which...

[Sir: Alastair Forbes may be sound on the...]

The Spectator

Arbiter elegantiarum? Sir: Alastair Forbes may be sound on the manner ot referring to the daughters 0s Earls and Marquesses, but can't he do something about his English? I...

[Sir: It must have taken you quite some...]

The Spectator

Sir: It must have taken you quite some casting around in order to light on a dungbeetle eager to foul the memory of Kenneth Tynan (2 August). But you certainly managed it with...

[Sir: Poor Ken Tynan-even his demise got...]

The Spectator

Kenneth Tynan Sir: Poor Ken Tynan - even his demise got mixed notices in the dailies and Ronald Duncan's tribute to him in this journal (2 August) could hardly be described as...

Early closing

The Spectator

Early closing Sir: It so happened that I read Richard Ingrarns's piece in your 26 July issue just after hearing the new Chairman of BBC Governors deliver a series of...

Escape in Italy

The Spectator

Escape in Italy Sir: I am presently researching escape arid evasion attempts of British and American POWs in Italy during 1 943 and 1 944, and wish to contact former POWs or...

Special knowledge

The Spectator

Special knowledge Sir: Your correspondent Henry Fairlie is clearly very knowledgable about American politics, but he is. getting altogether too allusive. He tells us (2 August)...

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The Rise and Fall of Prussia Sehastian Haffner

The Spectator

l/Might have been a Prooshian? eric Christiansen ,le Rise and Fall of Prussia Sehnntian rlaffne r (Weidenfeld £7.95) 0le of the most striking characteristics of Your modern...

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Nellie Elspeth Huxley

The Spectator

Grand old girl Mirabel Cecil Nellie Elspeth Huxley (Weidenfeld £8.95) In Nellie Elspcth Huxley has set herself the doubly daunting task of writing about t`W° sensitive...

The Third Wave Alvin Toffler

The Spectator

Future shlock Anthony Storr The Third Wave Alvin Toffler (Collins £8.95) According to this account, man, that simple-minded hunter-gatherer. has been hit by three great...

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Royal Champion: The Story of Steeplechasing's First Lady Bill Curling

The Spectator

Royal jumpers fey Bernard Roya Chanpion: The Story of Steeple- "'Oin s First Lady Bill Curling Josenh C-1 .^ -^ (Michael -pl £1 0.50) L ere s a stable lad, a neighbour of...

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To be a Printer Brooke Crutchley

The Spectator

Man of letters Nicolas Barker To be a Printer Brooke Crutchley (B3odley Head £8.95) The 1920s saw a typographic renaissasce almost a revolution, in this country No0ol has...

The Decoding of Edwin Drood Charles Forsyte

The Spectator

Fitful mystery Benny Green The Decoding of Edwin Drood Charles Forsyte (Gollancz £6.50) Academic Dickens studies are already in danger of heing subjected to the same sad...

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Nearing's Grace Scott Sommer

The Spectator

Maiden flight Paul Ableman Nearing's Grace Scott Sommer (Peter Owen £6.25) This is a novel about WASP high-school kids hanging loose in a middle-class dormitory suburb of...

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Beatrice and Benedict and Hamlet

The Spectator

Bold strokes Rodney Milnes Beatrice and Benedict and Hamlet (Bux- ton Festival) The artistic success of the second Buxton Festival confirms that the first was no flash in...

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Can't Stop The Music

The Spectator

Cinema Stop the music Il-' Peter Ackroyd Can't Stop The Music ('A' selected -n~lemas) 'Music is magic,' one character screams out, I Want to make that magic'. The music in...

Parsons knows

The Spectator

Art Parsons knows John McEwen The most cheering show of new work at the moment is BettyParsons's latest assortment of collages at Nigel Greenwood's (till 23 August). Betty...

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Family tales

The Spectator

High life Family tales Taki When the present Princess Michael of Kelt - or our Val - was still verv much a cOW' moner I went and staved with an old Austro Hungarian family,...


The Spectator

Television Tatty Richard Fngrams I think Russell Hartv was almost tolerable on SaturdlaY Night People when he was forced to keep his end up with Clive James and Janet Street...

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Strange ways

The Spectator

Postscript Strange ways Patrick Marnham In view of the political storm that has followed the decision of the House of Lords in the Granada TV case, this judgment may be the...


The Spectator

Low life Quarkery defrey Bernard sn May desperation to get away from journalWn I'm seriously thinking of bluffing my ay into entirely new fields of work. My bad plek though...